The tension between Israel and the United States continued to escalate Tuesday,
when Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett warned that Israel cannot rely
economically too much on any one country.
Foreign Minister Avigdor
Liberman said two weeks ago that Israel relied too much on the US and needed to
build more alliances.
An Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) poll on the
cover of Tuesday’s The Jerusalem Post found that nearly 50 percent of Jewish
Israelis agree with him.
Bennett said he learned a lot from the dispute
with the European Union over its demand that its funding not go to any
organization or institution that operates over the 1949 armistice line. Bennett,
together with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, resolved the dispute last week in a
way that allowed Israel to continue to participate in the lucrative EU Horizon
“One of the lessons I took with me from the negotiations
with the EU on the Horizon 2020 agreements is that Israel must produce,
accelerate and strengthen trade agreements, and we must further research and
development agreements across the globe,” Bennett posted on his official English
Bennett said that “Israel must not be overly dependent on
any one organization or state” and “should not allow herself to be a hostage to
The minister said he had instructed Israel’s Foreign Trade
Administration to accelerate and expand without delay agreements not only with
the US and European countries but also with India, China, Canada, and
A source close to Bennett said he was fully aware of the IDI poll
when he decided to post his statement about not relying too much on one
The poll was taken last Tuesday and Wednesday amid heightened
tension between Jerusalem and Washington over the deal the US and five other
Western powers signed with Iran in Geneva on the Islamic regime’s nuclear
When asked whether Israel should seek new allies, 49% of Israeli
Jews said yes, 45% said no, and the remainder had no opinion.
whether Israel would succeed in finding new allies, 70% of Jewish Israelis
believe Israel will not find any.